Beautiful beaches and overaffectionate local men.

Langkawi Travel Blog

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First night in Langkawi- middle of a storm and full of mozzies, but still pretty awesome!
I arrived in Langkawi fairly late at night, as the heavens opened upon us, drenching everything in sight. This weather would continue on and off for the rest of my trip- looks like the wet season had well and truly started!

I was anxious about my accomodation- for most of my trip I'd booked a suitably low-priced hostel months in advance, but Langkawi being the tourist resort that it is, suitable budget accomodation is hard to find. I'd e-mailed a place called Geko's Guesthouse months before but got told that e-mail bookings were not accepted. I just had to hope there would be a vacancy when I turned up. 

I wasn't in luck. I ran out of the Taxi getting completely soaked and was dismayed to learn that Geko was completely booked out.
View from my room.
"Right." I thought. "Time to look around." I ran to the place next door, which was painted a garish pink and the unfortunate name of "Daddy's Guesthouse". They told me the only room available was for 30RM, yet when seeing my face fall (my budget was about 10 - 15 RM a night) quickly said; "What price do you wanna pay?" Which, I admit, confused me. Since when do you barter for room rates? I suspected they saw me desperately run out of the rain and figured "What the hell, charge her anything." I left to get my stuff out of the Taxi, but the Taxi driver wouldn't hear of it. (He was a lovely driver, and had listened to me talk about my budget for the trip on the 5 mins drive over there)

He made some calls on my behalf (didn't charge me a thing!) and drove me to a different hostel a few minutes down the road, which proclaimed themselves as having 19 RM rooms AND a swimming pool! This swimming pool, I was to learn the next morning in the daylight, had greener water than the grass around it.
(I doubt anyone had swum or cleaned it in the last five years.)
We turned up at the hostel and the owner insisted on showing me the room. It was plain but clean, with 2 beds. I was just happy to get out of the rain. Happy, that is, until the owner demanded 30 RM for the room. 30 RM!
I flately refused, and asked to see the 19 RM room we'd requested on the phone. He warned me about the mosquitos, but for 19 RM I was willing to brave anything. He sighed, and reluctantly led me upstairs to a wooden room with four beds. I liked this room better- it seemed a lot more "traditional" than the sterile room he'd offered me below. I slept fine, despite the mosquitos, and the cow mooing outside my window at midnight!

The next morning, I found Amarni's Guesthouse (next to Daddy's) who had a 6 bed fan dorm for 15 RM a night, which I shared with some amazing people.
View from Cable Car. Totally worth waiting in line and the 30 RM.
I quite enjoyed my time there, even though it was so hot I couldn't sleep. I spent a lot of my time in Langkawi looking for streetfood- although many foreingers exclaimed over the cheap prices (compared to back home) I knew that they were ridiculous compared to the rest of Malaysia. Things like Alchmahol and cigarettes were very cheap though, since Langkawi is a duty-free Island. It also has a "cable car", in an extremely tacky 'oriental village' which I'd highly reccomend. It goes up 700 meters above sea level, with a gorgeous view.

I spent many days wandering around the beaches and the main street, which was ridiculously touristy. I didn't find any street food, but I did find a resteraunt called the "Nasi Tomatoe" which served cheap food, Indian dishes, and delicious fruit juices, all for a few dollars or less.
Sunset. <3
I'd highly reccomend it- but make sure the waiter(ess) knows your order correctly! I don't know if it was because I was on my own, but the local men were very friendly. I got used to having everyone I walked past say "Hello! How are you? Where are you from? What's your name?" and making other small talk. Usually I smiled and replied, but didn't stop to chat for long. I thought it was kinda nice... until my last day.

On my last day there, I decided to taking an island hopping tour for 25 RM. Unfortuently a group of older, foreign men took an interest in me, and insisted on having photo's/stroking my knees. It didn't bother me too much, as the islands we saw were so beautiful.

During the entire trip, which was run by 2 local boys, I felt very uncomfortable as they wouldn't leave me alone- wanting to swim with me, sit next to me, calling my name then just giggling, stroking my arms.
Main street of Langkawi!
.. Akwardly, the tour finally ended and they asked me to go for a drink with them at a Beach bar called Babylon that night. They were so pushy I agreed, but knew I'd be bringing a friend, just in case. The group of men invited me to have lunch in their hotel room, but I declined and went to Nasi Tomatoe instead. When walking back the boys from the tour pulled over and reminded me of my promise to go.

I turned up at the bar at 10 with my Aussie friend and her English boyfriend in tow, and luckily we didn't see the guys from the tour. We decided to stay and relax, listen to the music, as this was my last night. After awhile another local sat down at our table. As my two companions got...intimate... he sat down next to me and asked to "make-out". I didn't even know his name! He insisted on buying me a drink, despite my protests, then when I left a little while later (I had an early flight the next morning) he followed me, insisting on walking me home.
Beach, right across from the main street.
I refused a lift- there was no way I was getting into his car, and besides... I only lived a minute's walk away! While walking back he kept trying to hold my hand, but as I had my mobile phone in it he couldn't. So he screams at me; "DON'T YOU LOVE ME!?!" I didn't even know his name! He followed me all the way back to my room- luckily, I'd "forgotten" my key. He insisted I stay put while he went and got a copy from my roomates at Babylon, but luckily one of the hostel workers came along and chatted to me. The man hung around for awhile in the background before finally leaving.

After such a harrowing expierence, I decided to go down to the beach and look at the stars. While walking across it another local, kicking a beachball, decided to follow me. When I laid down to look at the stars, he laid down next to me, and rested his head in the crook of my arm! He then grabbed my mouth and cheeks, for whatever reason. I pushed him off and walked off down the beach- he followed, but again, the hostel worker came to my rescue. When he saw me talking with him, he followed for a bit before finally walking off. Shaken, I went back to my room.

Sorry for the long post. I hope my expierences haven't put anyone off to seeing Langkawi- it's a tourist trap, but beautiful. I'd highly reccomend going there at least once.
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First night in Langkawi- middle of…
First night in Langkawi- middle o…
View from my room.
View from my room.
View from Cable Car. Totally worth…
View from Cable Car. Totally wort…
Sunset. <3
Sunset. <3
Main street of Langkawi!
Main street of Langkawi!
Beach, right across from the main …
Beach, right across from the main…
photo by: Mezmerized